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SWEET CHARITY.

Some suggestions for delighting your friends while helping good causes

We all know about regiving--palming a dubious present off on some less discriminating friend or family member. But what about the concept of double giving? The holidays are a perfect time to shop at your favorite gay- and lesbian-related charity for a gift, that gives twice.

If you want a unique trinket to hang oil your tree, hightail it to handblown-ornament king Christopher Radko, who's celebrating 16 years in the holiday biz. Radko's 2000 collection offers [1] SIR ELTON CLAUS, the proceeds of which benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and other ornaments that benefit causes we hold dear, from breast cancer to animal rights.

Another wonderful place to buy is the ingenious Under One Roof in San Francisco. Entering its 10th season, Under One Roof donates 100% of every sale to dozens of AIDS service organizations. The hot tickets this year are a string of 10 Christmas tree lights in the shape of Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and a 24-inch [2] FIBER-OPTIC TREE--replete with three color wheels--that's straight out of the '60s. Under One Roof also offers a gamut of Judaica, including a boxed set of 25 [3] RUBBER STAMPS representing the Hebrew alphabet (ink pad and 32-page primer included).

While you're on the Internet, spend time at HomeGalleria.com, an online clearinghouse for stores such as Borders, Sharper Image, L.L. Bean, Martha Stewart, and Hershey's, among many others. Each of these outlets will donate a portion of what you spend to the charity of your choice. Participating agencies include New York City's Gay Men's Health Crisis, the American Brain Tumor Association, the American Teen Foundation, and the Professional Performing Arts School.

And don't forget to check out individual nonprofits such as AIDS Project Los Angeles and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for holiday greeting cards; L.A.'s Project Angel Food for an angel ornament, cards, a cookbook, and other keepsakes; or the Human Rights Campaign for various non-holiday-themed merchandise.

If your pet charity doesn't offer suitable knickknacks, think about giving complimentary memberships. With such an exhaustive array of organizations from which to choose--Digital Queers; the Federation of Gay Games; the Museum of Gay and Lesbian History; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; the Names Project; and the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, just to name a few--there's a cause for every queer.

And if you choose to make cash donations to worthy causes in the name of yom' friends and family in place of gift buying, don't forget to ask your human resources department if your employer runs a matching gift program. Many do, and such gifts are tax-deductible.

RELATE ARTICLE: One gay-owned company specializes in both gifts and giving back

Greg Nimer was a 15-year veteran of the greeting card industry when he founded 10% Productions in 1993, The Los Angeles-based company's name carries a dual meaning: It targets the gay and lesbian market (in theory, 10% of the population), and it donates 10% of its yearly profits to nonprofit organizations that share its vision of "a world free from fear, discrimination, and prejudice," to quote Nimer's mission statement. Among the recipients of 10%'s largesse are the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and local groups in 20 states--including gifts of more than $10,000 to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center annually since 1994, Nimer says.

At first the company offered just 48 greeting cards. By 1997, when the company acquired Greenwood Cooper Home Video, 10% also sold calendars, posters, mugs, and T-shirts, Today, the company's vast catalog includes a wealth of gift-giving options, including apparel, dolls, puzzles, magnets, skin care products, CDs, videos, and DVDs.

The 10% Web site offers a retail store locator and the option of ordering a catalog, but it has also become the company's primary sales outlet, representing "some 70% of our monthly retail revenue," Nimer says. "It passed the catalog this year and just keeps growing," One of the best online perks is a line of complimentary E-cards, the likes of which you'll never find at your local drugstore.

--D.V.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:choosing holiday gifts that will benefit charities
Author:Vaillancourt, Daniel
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 21, 2000
Words:708
Previous Article:DVD & VIDEO.
Next Article:Ode to Will & Grace.
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